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March 2 2007

Of the 16 NL teams, ten played nine games where a designated hitter was used in 2006 and six played six games where the DH was used.  Phillies' designated hitters got 36 at-bats in the nine games, hitting 278/350/556.  Using OPS as the measure, the .906 posted by Phillies' designated hitters was the second best in the NL behind only Cincinnati, which was one of the teams that only played six games using the DH.

Overall, the designated hitters from the NL were miserable.  Only three of 16 NL teams saw their designated hitters combine to post an OPS over .800 -- joining the Reds and Phils were the Diamondbacks.  By comparison, seven of the 14 AL teams had their designated hitters combined to post on OPS of at least .800 for the season. 

Pat Burrell got the bulk of the work for the Phils and was awful while at DH.  He got 22 of the 36 at-bats for the team and hit .136 with ten strikeouts.  The team's numbers were bailed out overall for the season at the position because Dellucci and Utley combined to go 6-for-10 with two home runs.


Player AB H HR OPS
Burrell 22 3 1 513
Dellucci 6 4 1 1.881
Abreu 4 1 0 750
Utley 4 2 1 1.750

The Phils are going to need a DH again in '07, and one thing that's for sure is they won't be using David Dellucci or Bobby Abreu.  My guess is if everyone stays healthy we might see Coste or Werth get into the mix.

Phillies may announce a one-year contract with Ryan Howard today.  Kyle Drabeck was re-assigned to minor league camp.

This article sees Randall Simon as having a legit shot to make the Phils.  I would be dumbstruck.  Or maybe flabbergasted.  Not sure.  That article includes a quote from Manuel that Karim Garcia may be a better all-around player than Dellucci.  I agree that Garcia almost surely has a better arm.  Otherwise I'm either dumbstruck or flabbergasted.  On the plus side, it would be great news for the Phillies if it were true.

Garcia's career line is 241/279/424 compared to Dellucci's 263/348/449.  I still think both Garcia and Werth have a good chance to surprise people this season, but a career .279 on-base percentage is just awful and Dellucci slugged .530 for the Phillies last season.

The Phillies lost to the Detroit Tigers 9-7 yesterday in their first official spring training game.

Greg Dobbs hit his second home run in two games.  The first doesn't count cause it was in an unofficial game against Florida State, but I think it's safe to say that he's got everyone's attention.  If the Phils go with 13 hitters I still see him as a dark horse in a battle with Coste and Karim Garcia for two spots.  Dobbs ended the day 3-for-4 with two RBI.

Garcia was 2-for-5 with an RBI-double.  Randall Simon had an RBI-double.  Danny Sandoval was 2-for-2 with a double.

Wes Helms played third and made a throwing error.  My advice to Phillies fans is to root with all your heart that Helms does his very best to show the Phillies there's no need to ever consider playing Nunez at third again except as a defensive replacement.  Helms did make a nice play on a line drive in the fourth inning, so maybe we can all just focus on that and not be so negative all the time.

Moyer got the start and gave up four runs in two innings.  Gary Sheffield tagged him for a three-run home run.  Fabio Castro pitched three scoreless innings.  Anderson Garcia got bombed.  I'm sure the Phillies would love to see Brian Sanches get some people out, but yesterday wasn't the day as he gave up two runs in an inning.  Clay Condrey pitched a scoreless frame. 

The Phillies play Cleveland this afternoon.

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